As someone who is very fond of LGBTQ+ movies, I was very hectic when I heard about “First Girl I Loved” directed by Kerem Sanga and starring Dylan Gelula, Brianna Hildebrand and Mateo Arias. The perfect teen queer romance film. Little did I know the movie reveals serious topics that should not be taken lightly such as rape, homophobia and one’s sexuality. I can’t even begin to express the emotions I was feeling when watching this beautiful indie film.
Warning: spoilers ahead.
The film follows two high school girls struggling with their sexuality. Anne, a yearbook editor, develops feelings for the most popular girl at school and softball star, Sasha. The two become friends, despite what Anne’s best friend, Clifton, who happens to be in love with her, has to say. The movie moves in scenes, going to the present then to the past. When Anne comes out to Clifton, things don’t go so well. He takes it as a joke, and then confesses his love for her. He moves in for a kiss, and when Anne Pushes away, he rapes her. Eventually pushing him off of her, she confesses that her love is for a girl not a boy. Clifton then calls her a dyke, and breaks their friendship.
Meanwhile Anne and Sasha start to become close friends. Having sleepovers, going out, exchanging compliments and having inside jokes. They decide to go to a gay bar where the two have their first kiss. Sasha leaves the bar and the next day doesn’t know how to act around Anne. Realizing Sasha will never like her, Anne gets furious and posts a picture of the two kissing in the yearbook for everyone to see. When yearbooks get released, the principal calls Anne, Sasha, Clifton and their parents to the office to discuss the issue. Clifton then confesses to adding the picture in the yearbook. When the topic about their sexuality comes up, Sasha denies and accuses Anne of kissing and taking advantage of her being drunk.
“First Girl I Loved” was the most realistic movie I watched in 2016. The actresses showed actual high school relationships. Although the movie didn’t have a happy ending, it was a magnificent film. However, I do wish they would’ve followed on Clifton and the rape that had occurred. Homophobia was another topic in the movie. Sasha’s mom denied whatever was said to her because she could never believe her daughter was actually gay. Anne also deserved more, but it made me very happy when she finally accepted who she was.
The first girl she loved made her realize exactly that.